Deputy Director of Programs
The IRC started operations in Cameroon in 2016 to respond to the increasing concerns for people affected by violence linked to Boko Haram, in the Far North of the country. Assistance to displaced populations extends across the Far North, notably Mayo Sava, Mayo Tsanaga and Logone & Chari, delivering lifesaving programming to increase access to water and improving hygiene practices in vulnerable displaced and host communities, cash programming to enable poor families to meet basic needs and improve food security, and protection programming, including meeting specific needs of women and girls. The IRC has field bases in Maroua and Kousseri.
Following the increasing crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon, the IRC expanded its operations into the South West region in August 2018 and into the North West in 2019. The IRC is delivering lifesaving humanitarian assistance to internally displaced populations, with field bases in Buea and Bamenda.
With its coordination office in Yaounde, the IRC Cameroon country program will develop its new ‘Strategy 100’ strategic plan in 2021, through which we aim to provide the best possible impact for some of the most vulnerable boys, girls, women, and men affected by the humanitarian crises. In all that we do, we strive to deliver through IRC’s core values of Integrity, Accountability, Service and Equality.
Scope of work
As a senior member of the country team, the Deputy Director for Programs will have overall responsibility to supervise, support, and enhance quality, coherence, impact, sustainability and synergy of all programs implemented by IRC in Cameroon. S/he will disseminate and monitor the implementation of the programmatic elements of IRC’s new Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and the related initiatives, playing a lead role in fundraising and advocacy work of the country program. The Deputy Director for Programs will be based in Yaoundé but s/he will be required to travel to field sites and the capital up to 40% of his/her time. S/he will directly manage the Technical Coordinators (Protection Rule of Law (PROL); Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE); Environmental Health (EH); Economic Recovery & Development (ERD), Education & Child Protection), and the Senior Program Coordinator position.
1. Program implementation, oversight and coordination
• Ensure effective and timely implementation of programmatic objectives of grants;
• Work with the senior management team to develop operational budgets, which reflect a detailed understanding of situational parameters, beneficiary needs, available resources and technical possibilities;
• Ensure that project planning tools (implementation plans, procurement plans, spend plans, M&E plans) are elaborated, shared and used on a monthly basis by Program Coordinators in collaboration with Operations, Finance and Grants colleagues;
• Work closely with the Senior Program Coordinator to hold efficient and effective Project design, Project Planning & Opening, Project Implementation, Closing and lessons learnt meetings;
• In collaboration with the Sr. Program Coordinator, Deputy Director - Finance, Operations Coordinator and Technical Coordinators, ensure that monthly Project implementation meetings are conducted by Project Leads and actions are followed up;
• Act as Project Lead on multi-sector and multi-locational projects
• In collaboration with the Sr. Program Coordinator and Technical Coordinators, ensure that quality donor reports are generated and submitted to headquarters and donors in a timely manner, ensuring programmatic review and inputs on all reports ahead of submission;
• Provide on-going problem-solving guidance for Field Coordinators and their teams regarding programmatic issues, planning issues, and difficulties encounters with local authorities and partners;
• Ensure a close coordination and collaboration with the Operations Coordinator to ensure adequate synergy between programs and operations;
• Support and promote adherence to finance controls for program expenditures in accordance with IRC policies and procedures;
• Develop strong working relationships with Technical Units and Technical Advisors, to ensure adequate remote and in-country support in line with country office needs and strategic direction;
• Ensure staff receive adequate capacity building on topics such as program design, monitoring and evaluation, report writing, and proposal development, and specific technical priority areas through supporting direct reports in collaboration with technical advisors to deliver trainings and coaching.
2. Proposal design and development
• Take the leading role in program design drawing on evaluations, lessons learnt and identified beneficiary needs in collaboration with Program Coordinators;
• Support the Sr. Program Coordinator, Grants team, and Technical Coordinators to write high quality proposals, meeting identified needs and donor requirements;
• Promote the use of IRC’s IMPACT standards and revised Outcome and Evidence Framework in both program design and proposal development, ensuring that Theories of Change are incorporated, in line with the priority outcomes as outlined in the country Strategic Action Plan;
• Ensure issues of gender equality and protection mainstreaming are integrated into program design;
• Maintain an up-to-date contextual analysis to ensure pertinence of all programming in collaboration with humanitarian access, safety and security colleagues;
• Identify opportunities for cross-border linkages and learning with IRC’s Lake Chad Basin country programs.
3. Strategy 100
• Under the supervision of the Country Director, coordinate the planning, development, implementation and review of IRC program initiatives, in accordance with the Program Development Priorities from the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and liaise with IRC’s Technical Units for technical guidance on implementation and new program design;
• Chair the SAP country team, ensuring close monitoring of actions and timely reporting
• Ensure effective and timely implementation of programmatic objectives of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) in collaboration with the Country Director and Operations Coordinator;
• Lead on reporting on SAP progress to inform the Country Director and Headquarters;
• Supervise the roll out of program related SAP initiatives, such as the Outcome and Evidence Framework and IRC’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning handbook;
• Ensure that all staff and partners have a clear understanding of the importance of gender equality and protection mainstreaming in programs and that all programs are designed to reduce the gender gap.
4. Monitoring, evaluation, accountability, learning and client responsiveness
• Ensure all projects have monitoring and evaluation plans in place from the outset, which are reviewed at regular intervals;
• Develop staff understanding and use of IRC’s Outcome and Evidence Framework and IMPACT framework;
• Support the Sr. Program Coordinators’ management of the M&E team to ensure quality technical assistance to all program-specific M&E and client responsiveness staff;
• Support Sr. Program Coordinator in ensuring the M&E team stays up to date on IRC M&E practice and support for his/her staff through regular communication with the Regional Measurement and Action Coordinator (RMAC);
• Keep informed on monitoring and evaluation techniques and support tools which can be shared with program staff;
• Support investment and capacity building on technological solutions to Program & M&E staff
• Assist with technical assessments and evaluations by reviewing TOR, reports and checking quality of activity;
• Ensure adequate budgeting of M&E, accountability and learning activities in all proposals;
• Ensure effective and timely responses to client feedback mechanism
• Lead on oversight of the client feedback mechanism in collaboration with the M&E Manager, Field Coordinators and Country Director.
5. advocacy and external relations
• Strongly participate and contribute into advocacy efforts on relevant sectoral policies and on community of practices, both within Cameroon and across the Lake Chad Basin;
• Represent IRC and IRC's interests with the Government officials, donors, UN, and other operating and implementing partners when required or applicable;
• Develop strong working relations with INGO and NGO partners to support the development and roll-out of IRC Cameroon’s partner strategy and ambitions;
• Assist the CD in developing and maintaining strong relationships with donors including humanitarian and Nexus to ensure sustainable funding of programs;
• Lead on developing formal working engagements with line ministries at the national level.
6. Staff management and human resources
• Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, establishing a supportive environment while emphasizing accountability, providing regular and timely constructive performance feedback, and leading documented semi-annual performance reviews;
• Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions;
• Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff;
• Work with the Senior Management Team to ensure that the Program team maintains a high work engagement;
• Work with HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies respecting principles of diversity, equality and inclusion;
• Model and encourage active practice of the principles of the “IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct” throughout the Cameroon country program;
• Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among IRC staff and with partner organizations;
• Maintain open communications with regional management staff, regional technical advisors, and HQ departmental staff.
7. Country leadership
• Contribute to the effective leadership of the country program as an active member of IRC Cameroon’s Senior Management Team and Country Management Team;
• Development of excellent working relations with peers and field coordinators in each field base, and promoting leadership role of the IRC Technical Coordinators in the UN-led Cluster and Sectoral coordination structure;
• Act as CD when s/he is out of the country.
• Advanced degree in International Relations, Community Development, Economics, or a relevant field
• At least 7 years of experience in the management of complex humanitarian and recovery programs in African or similar contexts
• Demonstrated successful leadership experience managing a multi-disciplinary team and cross-cultural dynamics.
• Demonstrated ability for rapid, accurate analysis of complex issues, strong decision-making, and translation of programmatic priorities into operational strategies.
• Extensive representation and fundraising success, including prior experience with European, US and international donors.
• Successful experience delivering appropriate levels of oversight for a portfolio consisting of a variety of complex, high-value donor-funded projects.
• Proven track record of leading and developing multi-location teams.
• Solid skills and experience in program design and delivery, proposal development and monitoring and evaluation.
• Proven capacity in staff management, multi-tasking, time management and diplomacy
• Strong oral and written communication skills, with ability to express ideas and concepts clearly and persuasively with senior internal and external stakeholders.
• Expertise and knowledge on a diversity of programs (WASH, Women’s Protection and Empowerment, Economic Recovery & Development, Protection and Rule of Law, Child Protection & Education)
• Motivated, positive individual who excels at taking initiative and is able to motivate team members to produce results under pressure.
• Fluent in either spoken and written French and good working knowledge of English or vice versa
• Strong commitment to IRC’s vision, mission and core values.
• Problem Solving & Judgment: effectively uses critical thinking in solving problems;
• Results Driven: sets challenging and clear expectations to meet organization priorities
• Committed to the mission of the IRC, is sensitive to both the political and social ramifications of decisions;
• Diplomatic both within the organization and with external interactions;
• Copes well with pressure and adapts and learns from adversity;
• Communicates important information in ways that are easily understood, both written and oral
• Respected and trusted negotiator in conflict situations.
Security in the Far North of Cameroon (Maroua & Kousseri) is level III (orange), in the South West and North West it is level IV (red) and in Yaoundé it is II (yellow) and the IRC has a curfew in place in all field sites.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
This is an accompanied position.